Shooting Gloves – Which ones are best?
It’s always been a disputed issue among shooters on whether or not to use shooting gloves. In my opinion, the answer is easy; it’s all about shooter preference. And branching off from that, if you so choose to operate with gloves, then choosing the right glove is critical just like any other piece of gear you put into play when you delivering customer service. For me, I choose to operate with gloves, and I’ve spent a considerable amount of time conducting some good old operational tests and evaluations (OT&E) on various gloves available on the market. I’ve not only taken them to the range and CQC houses, but I’ve taken many types on deployment and used them during various missions.
So the remainder of this article is going be about what gloves “I liked” and the reasons why I liked them. I’ll break each glove down into manufacturer, primary material (palm surface), comfort/fit, operability (use while shooting), durability, drying time for us salty maritime operators or when sweat becomes a factor (air dry only) and cost. Each category will be rated 1 through 10, with 10 being ideal. I’ve literally tested out somewhere around twenty-five different gloves, but to keep this short and sweet I’ll focus on five pairs. The ones that I’ll be going over will be Oakley’s “SI Assault Glove” (black), Blackhawk’s “Aviator OPS Glove” (OD Green), Mechanix “TAA Original Glove” (black), 5.11’s “TAC AK2 Gloves” (black) and Hatch’s “SOG-L50/L75 Operator Shorty Tactical.”
Model: SI Assault Glove
Primary Material: Premium leather w/ carbon fiber knuckles
Drying Time: 4
Model: Aviator OPS Glove (OD Green)
Primary Material: Leather (cowhide) w/ Nomex (fire retardant material)
Drying Time: 9
Model: TAA Original Glove
Primary Material: Clarino leather (synthetic leather)
Drying Time: 7
Model: TAC AK2 Glove
Primary Material: Goatskin leather w/ Kevlar
Drying Time: 9
Model: SOG-L50/L75 Operator Shorty Tactical
Primary Material: Premium leather w/ Kevlar
Drying Time: 6
Well, that’s my take and the five shooting gloves that I’ve liked the most. You’ll notice that I didn’t total up the scores for each glove because I think each feature will be weighted more or less for each shooter. Dry time may be very important for me, but if you never work around water, it’s not going to be as important to you. My recommendation is to find one type of glove and stick with those. Just don’t get the glove because they’re comfortable or affordable. Test them out in the conditions you intend to use them in. Remember, the first time your gear is put to the test isn’t during the actual operation. Finding the failure point of your gear is something you do during training.
The glove that I currently prefer and use are the PIG Full Dexterity Tactical Glove — Alpha Touch. They have a firm fit and I don’t need to cut off the index finger for better trigger manipulation. They have touch points on the index finger and thumb so I can use my mobile phone…when not in combat, of course. Why did I not include them in my top five above? Well, they're the newest. I haven't had time to fully test.
Again, this is about my personal preference, and I’m sure some people won’t agree with my assessments. But remember, they’re my assessments and if we were all the same and preferred the same thing, there would be one set of shooting gloves available to all of us. I enjoy having many options to all my gear as all of us operators are uniquely built and operate differently.
If you have any questions about shooting gloves, send a comment. I’ve probably tried it out and would be glad to help. If you have any glove advice (positive or negative) feel free to post that below.